...he made the drive-thrus run on time.* Via the Awl, the McItaly Burger. Given that the Slow Food movement was born in Italy as a reaction to McD's hard not to see this as the equivalent of Ronald McDonald throwing down a teabagging** dunk on Carlo Petrini.
A friend we might call William Tecumseh sent along a link to an article called "The Dark Side of Food Porn"* I would have preferred reading an article on "The Sunny Side of Food Porn," particularly if it involved the cast of 8 Femmes whipping up a cassoulet. As Fanny Ardant makes the confit, Emmanuele Beart... I digress. I'm on the record of not understanding why the representation of food is "food porn," since unlike regular porn, it often shows food you might actually be having.
That said, the article is another, and fairly interesting, consideration of the This is Why You're Fat phenomenon. As the image at right indicates, the tagline for this immensely popular website is "where dreams become heart attacks." My question is a sincere one -- why are heart attacks funny, when cancer isn't? It's not hard to find XL burgers w/ names like "double coronary.," but hard to find tobacconists w/ names like "Lung Cancer Shoppe." Having lost a parent apiece to cancer and heart disease, I feel about the same way about each. I welcome your thoughts on the difference.
Sifton drops a "fair" on an eminently uncompelling sort of spot. But! In the process, invokes not only Jean Shrimpton* but also Ian Dury getting punched in the face by Omar Sharif.** This is Mary Tyler Moore level worthwhilemaking, in terms of making a negative review of yet another fattening pen for power elite wannabees worth reading.
More generally, and these things may be more on my mind as I am teaching about the public sphere over to the day job, reviews like this raise the question of why people read restaurant reviews in the NY Times in 2010. For film, it seems like folks read AO or Ms. Lou b/c they want to decide what to see or not, but for restaurants, the consensus usually seems set before an NYT review appears, and many of the readers of resto reviews are not in a position to eat at the restos under discussion, b/c a) they live in Dubuque, or b) are paying 2,400 for a studio in Bushwick, and can't afford to eat in nice restaurants. So, does the restaurant review emerge instead as a form of entertainment, a reason to buy the paper in itself, rather than a guide to consumption choices? If so, does this factor explain the unbridled Siftonyness of Sifton's reviews? In any event, listen to the Smithereens while you mull it over.
*Without looking, I will bet you a dollar that the tumblr fuckyeahjeanshrimpton exists. I lose. Or more precisely, we all lose in the absence of this valuable resource.
**Have the disability studies people gotten hip to Ian Dury yet?
That is to say that Tony Maws, proprietor of Craigie on Main, has shared a tasty sounding rack of lamb receipt. And speaking of places I'd rather be having dinner tonight, Mr. Dargis is ignoring the relative abstraction of weather in Southern California, and laying out a hardcore midwinter repast at Lou:
Citrus, avocado, and bacon salad Pere Ventura Cava Rosé NV
Braised Niman beef short ribs, creamy polenta,
roasted Romanesco cauliflower, red carrots Flight of stick-to-your-ribs reds
Antoine Arena Patrimonio Corsica ‘06
Morgon Chamonard ‘08
And if that makes you thirsty, they will be serving beverages, and some edumacation:
"Jules Chauvet was a French
microbiologist, life long student of yeast, wineglass designer, and a
vigneron. I never met Chauvet (he died in 1989) and never tasted the
Beaujolais wine he made, and know his work only through the sparse
translations that are available in English. Nevertheless, by tasting
the wines made by a generation of vignerons who have followed Chauvet’s
example, I feel that I know him well.
Chauvet argued that if you (a) farm
responsibly, you (b) create conditions within your vineyard that will
naturally sustain natural yeasts that (c) will create the most
delicious and complex wines. Traditionally, vignerons will use sulfur
to combat “bad” yeasts: Chauvet argued that if you start with clean
fruit, you could dispense with sulfur, at least during the fermentation
process. Without the mask of sulfur, Chauvet felt that a wine could
better speak for itself. This is a somewhat controversial position both
in France and elsewhere, where most winemakers continue to use sulfur,
sometimes a great deal, because that’s the way they’ve been trained to
make wine. No doubt, it is challenging to make a wine with little
sulfur, and such wines are, sometimes, not microbiologically stable,
but when a low sulfur regime works, it works very well.
We often offer Chauvet style wines at
Lou: last year, we poured quite a bit of Jean Foillard’s Morgon, and
the Morgon of his colleague and fellow traveler, Jean-Paul Thevenet. We
are now pouring yet another Chauvet-style Morgon, this one made by
Joseph Chamonard (or more accurately, by Chamonard’s daughter), again a
colleague of Foillard and Thevenet. I find that wild yeast fermented
Morgon like Chamonard’s, made with little or no sulfur, can be a
paradoxical wine. It is a wine that sits very lightly on the tongue—not
quite a gluggy wine, but one that you would nevertheless be glad to
serve cool at a picnic on a warm summer afternoon. It is a wine that is
light to medium bodied, but one with great concentration of flavor.
I am pairing Chamonard’s Morgon with a
big hunk of Niman short ribs, a classic food and wine paring that, if
you are a red meat eater, would have to be dead if you do not like."
Seeeee ya Dusty
Dvoracek. Why don't u try heading northeast? I think you & your
fighting friends would fit in much better there#jerseyshore6:11 AM Jan 16th
There are layers here. First of all, I thought they liked football in Oklahoma. A returning NFL pro has a misunderstanding in public and the restaurant where that happens compares the former Sooner to a member of a much-reviled MTV reality show? One might think that returning football heroes would get more respect than that. The Cod asked a selection of restaurateurs if, in the event of a football player being removed from their establishment by the local constabulary, would they taunt said player via Twitter. The range of responses was considerable.
Chris Todaro, of Todaro's in Clemson, SC: "Not again."
The enigmatic exchange with Hugh Acheson, of the National and 5&10 in Athens, GA is worth quoting verbatim:
Cod: "If, like, Knowshon came back to town, acted a fool, and got arrested, would you Tweet about it?"
Acheson: "Hell yeah."
Cod: "Can I quote you?"
Acheson: "Never go to a bar called seven47."
From out west, Jay Porter of the Linkery offers a more restrained approach to tomfoolery from returning SDSU Aztecs:
"Aztec Hero" is a pretty small universe...Fred Dean, Brian Sipe,
Marshall Faulk, anyone else?. Maybe there's an elevator movie script
in that for you. They're all riding up to Don Coryell's penthouse at
the Sahara to plan a caper... As I've matured, I've learned to keep my taunting personal and
private. Broadcast media seem better suited for other purposes, such
as, you know, blog posts about important issues of our day."
Surprisingly, the place most willing to turn a blind eye is in New York. William Tigertt, of Freeman's opined:
"I would never comment about or directly name a customer in the
restaurant on social media networks. It's bad policy to not respect
your guests privacy. Twitter is a public forum. There is no upside
unless you're on of those trashy places that is always trying to get
into page 6. "
So, um, have at it lads. Lob a devil on horseback at your tablemate, have a chicken fight in the alley while you wait for your coats. The only trouble is that not many football players have collegiate stomping grounds that include the Lower East Side. NYU has an undistinguished history that tails off in the Eisenhower era, so we have to look farther afield for the folks likely to take advantage of this tolerant attitude -- Fordham's legendary O-Line of the 1930s, aka "The Seven Blocks of Granite."
Bay Area shenanigans have been on the Cod radar recently, and that keeps up today: Via IHE, news that Berkeley residents are not happy about having fraternity houses as neighbors. Can't blame 'em, and glad that my 'Fessering self does not have to live next to my Studenting self of some years ago at #5 Fraternity Row. But it being Berkeley, I figured there would be a wrinkle, so I clicked through to the local story, which featured the picture at right. The red Solo cup will be familiar to anyone who has attended an instiution of higher education in the United States, but the caption reveals that this is definitely not a Nashville, (or a Knoxville, or Fayettville, or Madison, or Austin) party:
Champagne? The lads are just making it easy for us. For those of you who are hazy on undergraduate lifestyles, I'll remind you that the two directives governing the average college alcohol purchase are 1) as much as possible 2) as cheap as possible. As in, say, whole pallets of Busch Light. Not sure if the boys in Berkeley are insisting on grower Champagne, or even senttling for nonvintage, but it's amusing to imagine the lads ordering their pledges down to Kermit's for another bottle.